Chief Executive Newsletter Updates

The Farmers Club Newsletter – No. 16 –June 2021


The re-opening of the Club has gone as well, if not better, than we had dared to hope. Members have been very supportive and seemingly very keen to get back to their Club. A very warm welcome awaits you all as can be seen in the video below:

Many may have read in the Sunday Times last week of the forthcoming sales campaign for the apartments currently being constructed in the Old War Office.  Although that article was big on historical links with the War, Politicians and spies, it was actually Whitehall Court that housed the first UK security Service that would later become MI6!  As indicated in that article, it seems that they may offer tours to small parties around some of the historic rooms. I know that some of you have requested if we can arrange a tour, so we will be keen to take advantage of this for interested members if and when the opportunity arises.
We have been very pleased to welcome a number of businesses who have booked rooms for board meetings and the like, including this last week, the Oxford Farming Conference who held meetings here and a reception (virtual) for Patrons and Sponsors.  During this event, it was a pleasure to welcome back to the club Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal.
It is with much regret that I pass on news learned last week of the passing of Mr Tom Copas, aged 82.  Many Club members will have been captivated by his informative and humorous commentaries during the river cruise that preceded many Club visits to the Henley Royal Regatta.
AGM – 6th July 2021

Please do come along to the AGM and then enjoy a superb lunch thereafter with a speech from Minette Batters. It will be an informative, interesting and enjoyable afternoon.  Details of the lunch can be found on the website where you can make your booking. 

A gentle reminder to members to please sign up for the Devon County Show Reception.  We will be at the West Point showground on Friday 2nd July, just 3 weeks away.  Details were in my last newsletter and are on the Club website where members can book online.  If you have any issues booking, please contact Emily.  Please come and join us at West Point and catch up with fellow members and other guests.
We have extended the closing date for the Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival. It really is a great day out in the Club and in the outdoor splendour of the Palace gardens.  Also, don’t forget ‘The Sword and the Crown; A Military Musical Spectacular’ a Military Musical Spectacular trip in Horseguards Parade on 20 July.  Full details and booking can be seen also bookable online.

For the last few years, the Farmers Club and the BCPC have held a joint technical seminar held at the Club.  By way of alerting those interested in order to plan diaries etc, the Seminar will be held on Thursday, October 7 in the Farmers Suite with registration and coffee starting at 10.30am. 
The title for the Seminar will be: “Food Production; Foreign Trade and Flight Paths for Chiff-Chaffs…”
The prospects for arable and mixed farms as producers come to terms with balancing profitable farming and food production with the combined impact of changes in trade, increased pressure on the environment, government’s path to sustainable farming and a reduction in support.
Whilst more detail will follow in forthcoming Journals and this newsletter, who better to set the scene than Janet Hughes, DEFRA’s Programme Director for the Future Farming and Countryside Programme? Janet will outline the future for regenerative agriculture and its relationship with commercial farming.  I am sure that there will be other interesting speakers during the day.
Further detail will follow.

The external façade restoration/alterations to Horse Guard Avenue are largely complete and the scaffolding to this elevation has been struck. Scaffold erection will continue around building, now moving towards Whitehall and Whitehall Place.  Installation of new Portland Stone continues at roof level.  The internal fit out of the new 125 Bedroom Hotel is proceeding to plan and work has also commenced on 78 of the 85 residential apartments.
Work is proceeding to plan to fit out the new Hotel Spa with mechanical and electrical service installation works ongoing within the new Plant Rooms at all Basement levels.
Work also continues on the installation of the Passenger and Goods Lifts across both the Residential and Hotel demises, including the new Car lifts.
There are remaining applications in respect of 24hr working in July and August which have yet to be made and approved, but if they are approved, the work appertains to the Whitehall side of the building alone, not to WHC. The results of the façade lighting trial are yet to be determined.

Great Yorkshire Show

Tuesday 13th July
The Club will be hosting the second of its ‘Summer Show’ Receptions at the Great Yorkshire Show on Tuesday 13th July 2021.  The reception will be held on the Pavilion Lawns of the Yorkshire Agricultural Association Buildings between 4.00pm – 5.30pm.  Our speaker is to be confirmed.  Join the Club Chairman and Chief Executive for a chance to hear some news, meet up with friends old and new and take time to relax with canapes and a glass of wine against the backdrop of the superb Great Yorkshire Show.  We hope to see you there.


Drinks Reception at the Great Yorkshire Show
Date: Tuesday 13th July 2021
Time: 4.00pm – 5.30pm
Venue: The Pavilion Lawns of the Yorkshire Agricultural Association Buildings
Cost: £10.00 per person
Speaker: TBC

Please go to to book your places.

Henley Royal Regatta

Whilst we have yet to finalise the costs of the trip, we are planning to visit Henley Royal Regatta on finals day on Sunday 15th August.  Once again we will have our own pavilion with all food, drink and transport from the Club included in the ticket price.  This is a tremendous day out and I hope a good many of you can put a marker in your diary.  Please look out next week for full details when you will be able to book places on line on the events page of the website.


I hope that members are beginning to feel that we are now getting back into our stride. Notwithstanding any restrictions that may be in place, we have planned our club events, lunches, talks and seminars with precision, ensuring the continued safety and enjoyment of all. There is already much to look forward to over the next couple of months and beyond and we shall shortly be adding to this with our August programme which will see an event planned for each week of the month that will provide a wide variety of activity.

Best regards

Andrei Spence